Raul Castro Says Cuba is Open to Talk to the United States About "Anything"
02/26/2010 - 10:35 ||
Cuba'n president, Raul Castro, recently told reporters for Brazil’s official Estado news agency that his government is open to talks with the United States about any and all topics, as long as the condition of "equality" is fulfilled.
“We want to discuss with the government of the United States all the problems that they want to (talk about). I repeat it three times: all, all, all. But we will only accept if it is in absolute equality,” Castro said during a visit from Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to Havana.
So what does he mean by "equality?" Castro clarified his terms, saying that Washington should feel free to “ask about anything, but we also want to ask about all the problems of the United States.”
For the first time, Castro also acknowledged the lack of freedom of expression on the island:
“Here there is not the maximum freedom of expression. That is true. But if the United States would leave us alone, there could be that maximum freedom." So, although this is a step forward for Cuban/US relations, it seems that Castro is still relying on the old tactics of blaming most of Cuba's human rights transgressions on United States intervention.